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Academic recognition of diplomas

Academic recognition of diplomas or validation of educational documents means recognition of the achieved level of education in order to be admitted to a further course of study. The process of academic recognition differs depending on the achieved level of education as well as on the existence of a bilateral agreement regarding the academic recognition between the Slovak Republic and the state of origin.
 
Recognition of partial education at primary or secondary schools is subject to the Act no. 245/2008 Coll. on education and training (School Act) and on amendment of certain acts.
 
If a student is fulfilling the compulsory education at a school abroad, the recognition of a school year or semester is performed by the director of the student’s home school in Slovakia. Abroad study is one of the types of specific attendance of school as stated in Article 23 letter b) of the School Act. The student can, based on application submitted by his or her parent or legal guardian, take an exam in front of a school-appointed examination commission. The application must state which school year(s) should be taken into account. Date, content and coverage of the exams are decided by the director of the school, where the exam is going to take place, at least 15 days prior to the exam. Based on the results of the exam the school issues a certificate to the student.

Student who didn’t apply for the exam will be examined after the completion of his/her specific type school attendance. He or she is going to be placed into respective class or level based on the results of his or her performance at the exam.

Regarding the evaluation, in case the student received a certificate with grades, the Centre for Recognition of Diplomas can convert them into Slovak grading scale, for the uses of the home school director, for the purposes of admission process, etc.

Application for conversion of marks from study on elementary and secondary schools abroad
 
Recognition of partial education in higher education is performed based on internal regulations of the higher education institution in question, where the applicant presents his or her results from abroad.

Recognition of completed education at primary or secondary schools

Recognition of leaving certificates and diplomas issued by a primary or secondary school in other member state or in a third state is performed at the Department of Education of the respective District Office (Odbor školstva Okresného úradu v sídle kraja), after the comparison of the content and length of the education obtained by the applicant and the requirements of the equivalent study program in Slovakia.
 
The recognition process is initiated with the receipt of the application.

The application consists of the first name and surname of the applicant, permanent address or address of similar stay of the applicant, full name and address of the issuing primary or secondary school, the year of completion of the education and applicant’s signature. If the applicant is underage, the application is filed by his/her legal guardian.
 
The application includes the following documents:
  • copy of identification document,
  • certified copy of the leaving certificate or diploma,
  • transcript of completed courses and completed exams,
  • in case of vocational secondary education, a confirmation issued by the secondary school about the scope of practical education,
  • an authentication of signatures and seals of the school on the original educational documentation by the competent body of the state in question (apostille,  superlegalisation), unless an international agreement states otherwise,
  • proof of payment of the fee.
The applicant is also obligated to present certified translation of the educational documents into the official language.
 
Department of Education of the District Office considers the application within 30 days after its receipt. If the application doesn’t include all the required documentation, the district authority interrupts the process and prompts the applicant to submit the missing documents or to correct any found deficiencies.
 
After the receipt of the complete application, the district office in the county decides within two months with the following possible results:
  1. recognition of the educational document,
  2. refusal of recognition of the educational document,
  3. prescription of a differential exam.
Recognition of completed higher education
  
The recognition of an educational document issued by a higher education institution from other member state or from a third state for academic purposes (continuing on a further course of study) is the competence of:
  • Higher education institution (HEI) in the Slovak Republic which offers the same or similar study programmes as the one that was completed abroad, or
  • Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, in case there is no similar study program currently offered in the Slovak Republic, or
  • Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic, if the educational document in question is issued by a military HEI, or
  • Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, if the educational document in question is issued by a HEI of the police force.
The recognition process of educational document begins by the receipt of the application by the respective HEI or ministry.

The application consists of the first name and surname of the applicant, permanent address or address of similar stay of the applicant, full name and address of the HEI which issued the document, the year of completion of the education and applicant’s signature.
 
Mandatory documentation submitted together with an application includes:
  • copy of the identification document,
  • certified copy the diploma or degree
  • transcript of completed courses and exams,
  • certified copy of the diploma supplement, if issued by the HEI,
  • information about the previous achieved level of education,
  • authentication of signatures and seals on the original educational documentation by the competent body of the state in question (apostille, superlegalisation), unless an international agreement states otherwise,
  • proof of payment of the corresponding fee.
The applicant is also obligated to present a certified translation of the educational documents into the official language.

Besides the documentation above, the applicant could be also asked to present additional materials and information, if they are proven to be necessary for the validation process.

The respective higher education institution or ministry considers the application within 30 days after its receipt. If the application does not include all the required documents or information, the process will be interrupted and the applicant will be prompted to submit the missing materials or to correct any deficiencies within 30 days of the notice’s receipt.
 
Higher education institution or the respective ministry decides about recognition of the educational document within two months after the receipt of the complete application. The possible results of the process are:
  • recognition of the diploma,
  • refusal of the diploma recognition,
  • imposing of a compensation measure (exam).
Automatic recognition of educational documents for the academic purposes
 
An educational document issued by an education institution from a member state or a third state, which is a side of a mutual bilateral or multilateral recognition agreement signed by the Slovak Republic, or issued by a higher education institution from a member state of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is automatically recognized for academic purposes.

The recognition process of the educational document begins by the receipt of the application. The application consists of the first name and surname of the applicant, permanent address or address of similar stay of the applicant, subject of the application, full name and address of the institution which issued the document, the year of completion of the education and applicant’s signature. In case the holder of the educational document is underage, the application is filled in by his/her legal guardian.

Mandatory documentation submitted together with the application include
  • copy of identification document,
  • certified copies of the formal evidence of completion of the education
The applicant is obligated to present certified translation of the educational documents into the official language.
 
Higher education institution or the District Office considers the application within seven days. If the application doesn’t meet all the requirements, the process is going to be interrupted and the applicant will be prompted to submit the missing documentation or to correct any deficiencies.

Higher education institution or the District Office decides within 15 days after the receipt of the complete application. The decision will contain the name of the equal qualification in the Slovak Republic.

List of states with an existing mutual international treaty with the Slovak Republic on academic recognition:
List of European Higher Education Area member states:
 
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosna and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,  France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Belarus.

The details about educational systems in these countries can be found on the website:
http://www.ehea.info/members.aspx

On demand from universities or district authorities, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, Centre for Recognition of Diplomas, can offer assistance with the academic validation process.